It's no surprise that national power St. Frances Academy collected all 12 first-place votes to start the year No. 1 in the Maryland Media State Poll.
St. Frances Academy is ranked among the top teams by every major national ranking service.
Good Counsel, DeMatha, Archbishop Spalding and Quince Orchard round out a familiar Maryland Top 5 and all of these storied programs appear loaded again in 2023.
In fact, the entire preseason Top 25 has a familar feel as 22 of the 25 where ranked in the final poll of 2022.
The Maryland Media State Poll is in its 33rd year, and the 2023 preseason poll marks the 60th straight week that St. Frances has held the No. 1 spot. Interestingly, St. Frances began the 2017 season ranked No. 2 in the preseason behind DeMatha but in the Week 1 poll overtook the Stags for the top spot and have not relinquished since. St. Frances was No. 1 for the final 11 rankings of 2017 and all 12 in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022. There was no state ranking in 2020 due to the pandemic.
St. Frances' lineup features QB Michael Van Buren and CB Ify Obideqwu, who are committed to Oregon, along with RB DeJuan Williams committed to Maryland, S Edrees Farooq committed to Tennessee, LB Simeon Coleman committed to Cincinnati, LB Darius Jones committed to Wake Forest and OL Logan Bennett, who is bound for Michigan State. TE Chase Wilkens committed to Monmouth. In addition, St. Frances features three of the nation’s top junior prospects.
Good Counsel follows with equally impressive high-end talent. LB Aaron Chiles has committed to Florida, RB Dilin Jones has committed to Wisconsin, DL Darien Mayo has committed to Clemson, WR Elijah Moore has committed to Florida State, OL Kyle Altuner has committed to West Virginia and CB Judah Jenkins has committed to Indiana.
Very little separated DeMatha and Archbishop Spalding when those teams scrimmaged over the weekend, and very little separates them in the rankings with the Stags just seven points ahead of defending MIAA champion Spalding for the No. 3 spot. Quince Orchard, which hasn't lost a game since 2019 -- and riding a 30-game win streak, checks in at No. 5 as the state's highest-ranking public school. The QO lineup has another big-time feel with Penn State commits Jaylen Harvey and Xavier Gilliam. Top prospect Shae Terry and RB Iverson Howard will also be players to watch as the Cougars chase a third straight Class 4A state title.